Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The manual describes SIGKILL and SIGSTOP like this:

SIGKILL       9       Term    Kill signal
SIGTERM      15       Term    Termination signal

and states:

The signals SIGKILL and SIGSTOP cannot be caught, blocked, or ignored.

but what's the difference between the 2 signals?

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com May 12 '13 at 3:06

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

As is found on Wikipedia


The SIGKILL signal is sent to a process to cause it to terminate immediately. In contrast to SIGTERM and SIGINT, this signal cannot be caught or ignored, and the receiving process cannot perform any clean-up upon receiving this signal.


The SIGSTOP signal instructs the operating system to stop a process for later resumption.

share|improve this answer

SIGKILL kills a process and cannot be caught

SIGTERM kills a process but can be caught to do a graceful exit

SIGSTOP suspends the process until you do a SIGCONT

share|improve this answer

As the name suggests, SIGKILL kill the process instead of SIGSTOP which stop the process until the SIGCONT be called (to continue the process).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.